What a lovely morning for going down to Unilabs for a blood test. What else would I rather be doing? Perhaps a croissant or an espresso in the corner of a lively square, people watching, or reading a book with hours to spare. But, no, blood test wins. But in true Portuguese style, I had the test at 10.30 AM, and by 3 PM I had the results, I’m alive. From there I took the subway to the pool and did my mile plus, earlier than usual, and with the threat of water aerobics classes I began, somehow they didn’t show up so I swam with no frightening soundtrack. They were finishing when I started with their horrible booming speaker and shouting out commands to a field of ancient arms and legs in one last gasp to stay a little longer on the planet, or more likely to socialize. When I was done swimming another team arrived with metal bikes that they submerged into the water with the worst banging music I’ve ever heard, somehow I managed to avoid nearly all of it. A day of potentially bad recipes with tasty results.
I walked back from the pool through the hot Porto streets, it was the hottest day so far and it was wearing me down. As I got closer Olivia was coming the other way on a search for fire extinguishers for The Archive. By the time I got in, I felt like I had heatstroke but then I wasn’t 100% anyway. I’d been to the pharmacy on the way to the pool to get some throat tablets and cough medicine, a strange brew in contrast to the weather. Lunch made me feel a little better but not much, having said that I began to improve by my first sesh with Fred in Minneapolis, and then by NJ Brian I was feeling fine. I was ready for Arsenal/Chelsea and two hours of analysis. When it was over I spoke to Salim in Texas, it’s his birthday tomorrow, May 3rd, don’t forget.
Olivia had found me two weird part birthday prezzies on her adventures, a strange wooden half creature, half walking stick, half ornamental carving (yes, it had three halves), and a strange orange fluorescent tube lamp that did wonders for the studio vibe and led you straight to the Nag Champa. Then in perfect contrast again and for the second time in two days my eye distortion gave me the free diamonds and the promise of a dull ache. When it happened yesterday I went straight to bed, today my medicine, my cure, was to sit in the legendary red chair and listen to four sides of David Sylvian’s double vinyl album Sleepwalkers (2010/2022), a collection of oddities and collaborations.